How To Supplement Your Income While You Work On Your Home Business

by / ⠀Funding Startup Advice / January 3, 2013

If you’ve made the leap from nine-to-five to working from home, with enough backup capital to keep your enterprise going during that indefinite start-up period, then congratulations are in order. You’re prepared, you’re grounded, you’re relaxed and, largely, you’re fictional.

Most home businesses are, to put it charitably, under-funded. Even if you’ve planned well and saved admirably, in most cases there’s simply no way of knowing how long it’s going to take to gain a foothold. Self-sustaining is a milestone.  But it’s not the first milestone and it’s far, far too easy to get discouraged if you’re not making enough to even pay the bills. When that happens you have two viable choices: a) give up or b) not give up.

If you select choice b, you still have those bills.  Fortunately, there’s an option that might just see you through — go back to work. That sounds counter-intuitive but it’s possible in most cases to return part-time to the work force in a manner that doesn’t just shore up finances while your home business makes a go of it, but in fact, can bolster your chances for the long run.

Simple Online Jobs At Home

There is a plethora of options if you want to scrape by with just a few extra bucks in your pocket.  Heck, these few bucks can go a long way in paying the ever-present bills while you work toward your home business goal.  Unfortunately, finding something online that matches your ideal business goal may be difficult, so you have to be willing to expand your horizons.  Know, too, that the work may not be very mentally stimulating and a stretch from what you would normally do, but at least you’ll be making some money.  Consider these ideas:

  • Customer Service jobs, done at home, are aplenty.  The typical pay range is between $8.00 and $15.00 per hour and many companies expect a commitment for a certain number of hours per week or schedule.  Requirements may consist of: a land line phone, specific computer equipment, and a quiet environment.
  • Mini-tasks, aka mini-jobs, through micro job websites (do an internet search), generate a small income, but are easy to do and don’t have any demands. Simply put, you make money doing small tasks online.  Sure, the so-called jobs may seem silly, but you can make a few dollars by spending just a few minutes of your time. 
  • Freelancing is a great way to make money, and you can do work in an area that interests you – and perhaps compliments your home business.

The downside to performing any of these online jobs is the fact you may get sucked into the reality of having to work enough hours to make enough money to keep you financially afloat.  Your main goal is your home business and spending too much time away from that goal may cause it to be put aside.  Select a job and a schedule that works into your plans.

The Temporary Solution

Temporary work or, to put its true, ugly face on it, temping, is every bit as diabolical as it sounds. It’s underpaid and it comes with little to no respect but it’s got a big advantage to those pursuing other forms of legitimate work from home jobs. The hint is in the name — it’s temporary. Perhaps more importantly, it’s varied and you can select your placements in a manner that allows you to increase your experience and your network. Consider these ideas:

  • Let’s say that you’re building an event-planning business. Are you too proud to wait tables at some local events where you can give your card to the management or the wedding crooner?
  • Are you an aspiring illustrator or copy-writer? The indirect correlation is — can you operate a photocopier? If so you can be in the advertising business. If you can fix a paper-block you can probably run an entire department.
  • Are you building a home-based consultancy doing tax returns? Help a small company do its year-end inventory.

Most Temp agencies operate in the same manner, and chances are it’ll work like this:

1. Make an appointment with as many temporary agencies as you like. This is important because they’ll all ask you to be exclusive with them. You don’t need to do that.

2. They’ll interview you about your skills. Don’t be modest but don’t exaggerate because…

3. You’ll probably have to take test of your typing speed or Excel abilities or in-depth knowledge of office tools and software.

4. They might have something for you immediately, they might not, but eventually they’ll call you with a proposition and this is the hard part…

5. Especially if you’re hungry. You have to be selective. Not too selective because you need to pay the bills and if you turn down too much work they’ll stop calling (so when you do say no have a good reason — the best reason is always that you have another gig).  Try to hold out for something that contributes to your experience and network.

Above all, be tough. Your objective is your “at home” job, and a simple online job or temping is just a useful utility to support that. During the transition you may be poorly paid, the job might be undignified, but most importantly it’s temporary.

Kathleen Lewis is the founder and owner of, a trusted resource dedicated to providing online jobs from home.  She understands the trials and tribulations of working from home, and encourages others to act upon their desire to be their own boss.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.